Brown vs. Board of Education
Brown vs. Board of Education as it is known today derives its Oliver Brown who was dissatisfied with the way education system in the United States was managed following the ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson of 1896. Acording to Kluger (11), the case established a system of education, which promoted state-supported segregation in education with the catchphrase of “separate-but-equal” slogan. It allowed the public schools to be divided, where the blacks would be in different defined schools from the whites.
The juries in the case argued that the separation of schools was not in any way a violation of any right as far as the government would provide the needed resources to support those schools. This study examines the ruling and its impacts in the United States education system and other effects in different areas like human rights and equality among the blacks and the whites in the country.
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To begin with, allowing the country to separate learners to different schools based on their races was an outright segregation. Linda Brown, an icon in the case was forced to travel across Topeka to an all-black school despite the fact that there was a school near her place. Her father was infuriated with this since it depicted a high level of discrimination. As a result, he among other dissatisfied parents and interested parties in the matter filed a suit that was determined in the 1954 court ruling (Kluger 13).
The nine-judge bench decides unanimously that the previous ruling in Plessy v. Ferguson was against the fourteenth amendment (14th Amendment) of the United States constitution. it is important to point out that Brown v. Board of Education was not a single case, but rather a combined group of five different lawsuits filed against schools in Kansa, Delaware, Carolina, the district of Colombia and Virginia. The complaint was that the services and treatment in these different schools were not equal at all.
Other serious parties involved in the case included the National Association for the Advancement of the Colored People (NAACP) who worked alongside notable figures such as Charles Hamilton Houston, Dean of Howard Law School and his student, Thurgood Marshall who would later become the Director-Counsel of Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) and later the first black to serve as the Supreme Court justice.
In 1954, the court ruled that the segregation system is dismantled. It determined that the plaintiffs were denied equal protection as envisaged in the fourteenth amendment of the constitution (Kluger 12). The ruling was also an additional victory in the fight against discrimination in the country. The blacks were able to share public services. For example, they would board the same bus with the white children and be taught in the same class as them. The ruling dealt with the stigma attached to skin color since, during the segregated classroom, the playing toys were judged in the superiority of black and white. Black children were growing with that feeling, making them poorly regarded compared to the whites.
The ruling received reactions from different people giving divergent opinions. Some people felt that the ruling was not well thought, more so the whites who felt uncomfortable with the blacks. On the other hand, the proponents of equality and human rights in the country were thrilled with the ruling and considered it a victory for the minority. It catalyzed civil rights movements in the country creating an advanced campaign to desegregate public accommodations, public housings and the institutions of higher learning. It indeed provided more hopes to Americans about the hope for a better future of unity and oneness with limited cases of discrimination.
However, one cannot proudly say that the ruling perfectly eliminated segregation in the education system. Children from poor families still feel not treated equally with those from affluent families (Kluger 17). One of the undoing of the ruling was the failure to determine the way the schools would be integrated, only giving a space for further discourse about it. This allowed space for local political and judicial dodging of integration. There were registered cases of defiance in some local schools in Kansas. Governor Orval Faubus directed the state National Guard to bar black students from attending classes in certain schools like Little Rock in Arkansas. This shows that as much as the fight for equality was well intended, the goodwill to make it a reality was missing.
In conclusion, the case was a landmark in the United States towards the fight for equality. It allowed the black children to be given equal attention like the whites in access to education. However, the matter was received differently by different sets of people. Individuals who believed in inequality and human rights applauded the court for making such a remarkable decision. On the other hand, there was some clique of people who remained very preservative and felt it was not the way to go. As a result, even though strides were made in this regard, the United States of America is struggling with discrimination in the education system, a show of lack of goodwill to make it a reality.